A few of the many reasons why we can’t wait for Spa!
1. Returning to Action
Formula One's annual trip to Spa-Francorchamps officially signals the end of the summer break! Teams have picked up where they left off and returned to work this week, after the mandatory two-week shutdown period.
The first race after the break always has a nostalgic back-to-school feel, with everyone eager to hear the tales and stories of people's shutdown adventures, finding out where they went and what they were up to.
But, most importantly, being back at Spa also means it's time to go racing again! Our weekends haven't been the same without some fast-paced F1 action and we're buzzing to see the cars back out on track.
Friday's practice sessions can't come soon enough!
2. One of the Classics
Spa-Francorchamps is one of the oldest, most historic and famous racing circuits in the world - featuring some of the toughest corners on the F1 calendar, too.
Eau Rouge, Pouhon, Blanchimont... just a few of the iconic turns that make Spa such a challenge. With its undulating, sweeping nature and old-school feel, it's easy to see why teams, drivers and fans adore the track.
The circuit is difficult to master, not only in terms of driving but also setting up the car as well. This is because Spa features a mix of long straights and high-speed corners, so finding the right downforce levels and balance is tricky.
Mercedes has a rich history at Spa, having first won the race back in 1955 with Juan Manuel Fangio. It has added three further wins to its Belgian GP tally in the modern era.
3. So. Much. Racing!
Alongside F1's return, Spa also marks Formula 2 and GP3 hitting the track after the summer break... so brace yourselves for some dramatic on-track action!
F2 and GP3 have had their own breaks over the summer, giving the drivers and teams a chance to relax and recharge, as it's going to be a busy end to the year for them.
Be sure to cheer on our Reserve Driver George Russell if you're at Spa (or from the comfort of your own home if you are tuning in on TV), as he looks to extend his lead in the F2 Drivers' Championship!
The old-school, fast and frantic nature of Spa and the varied weather conditions always make for spectacular F2 and GP3 racing, so we're excited to see the show they put on this weekend.
4. What Will the Weather Do?
Because of Spa's location in the middle of the Ardennes Forest, the weather can change in an instant. It can go from bright sunshine to pouring rain in minutes.
Teams know what the weather can be like at the Belgian GP and are prepared for this. But, it certainly helps to spice up the action and you never know what's going to happen!
Another factor is the length of the circuit at Spa. It's the longest lap of the year, at 7.004km, which means weather conditions can be completely different at separate parts of the circuit.
So, for example, it could be raining at La Source, but be bone dry at Les Combes or Pouhon.
At the moment, some rain and cooler temperatures are expected for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But as we all know, you should never fully trust weather predictions for the Belgian GP.
5. Let Battle Continue...
The first half of the 2018 F1 season is done and dusted. It's been a close, intense and ferocious fight out on track, with unpredictable results, fine margins and the pecking order changing from track to track.
You never knew who was going to have the advantage heading into a weekend and that doesn't look set to change during the remainder of the year.
There's still a long way left to go in 2018 and we're excited to see how it plays out. Spa kicks off the second half of the season and it's only going to get tougher from here, with a relentless run of races.
But, we're recharged, re-energised and ready to roll. Let's get back to work...
Key timings for events at the track, for those of you in Belgium or wanting to keep up from home!